These Chocolate Macarons are the perfect little drop of indulgence to enjoy as an afternoon pick-me-up, or as a post-dinner party bite (if you can resist not eating them all!). The macarons have a deliciously rich chocolate ganache sandwiched between the sweet meringue-based cookies that melt in the mouth.
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) finely ground almond flour
- 1 3/4 cups (435 mL) icing sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher sea salt
- 1 tsp (5 mL) instant espresso powder (or instant coffee), optional
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) 35% cream
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) kosher salt
- 1 x 100 g Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% cacao dark chocolate bar, finely chopped
- Line two large, flat baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pencil, trace 28 circles on each piece of parchment paper using a 1 1/2 inch diameter round cookie cutter, or another 1 1/2 inch round object, to create a template for each cookie. The circles should be ¾ inch apart and staggered to fit all 28 circles. Flip the parchment paper over so that pencil circles are face down.
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, salt and instant espresso powder (if using).
- Sift the dry mixture three times through a large, fine-mesh sieve into another large bowl, before setting aside. Use a large spoon or spatula to help sift ingredients faster. This step is extremely important for incorporating, aerating, and eliminating any large clumps or flour or cocoa. Discard any ingredients that can’t be sieved.
- Transfer egg whites to a separate large bowl (if using a hand mixer) or a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites on a low speed for 1 min, or until they appear light in colour and foamy in texture. Increase the speed to medium and slowly sprinkle granulated sugar into the egg whites. Continue to beat for another 2 to 3 minutes until sugar has been incorporated and egg whites are opaque and thick. Add vanilla extract and gently stir until combined.
- Check the egg whites to see how stiff they are. Lift the whisk attachment, or beaters and see if they are at soft peak stage. Soft peaks will resemble soft serve ice cream. Once at that stage, increase the speed to high and beat for another 1-2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. There should be no movement or softness to the egg white mixture at this stage. They should be thick and glossy like meringue.
- Add half of your sifted dry ingredients to your meringue. Gently mix and fold the dry ingredients into the meringue using a silicone spatula. Be careful to retain as much of the air in the mixture as possible.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients to the batter, and fold together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and cut through the centre of the mixture. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat, scraping down the bowl and bringing the spatula through the centre of the batter each time.
- Gently fold for about 8-10 minutes or until the batter falls into ribbons from the spatula and has a lava-like consistency. The batter ribbons should hold their shape then slowly spread. To test, lift the spatula and draw a figure of eight with the falling batter. The batter should hold the shape before slowly softening and absorbing back into the batter within 10 seconds – if this is happening, the batter is ready to pipe. If the batter doesn’t hold its shape, continue to gently fold.
- Transfer half the batter into a large piping bag fitted with a large piping nozzle with a round tip. If you have them, use piping tip sizes 803, 804 or 805. Alternatively, use a large plastic zipper lock bag with 1/4 inch tip cut off the corner.
- Place small dots of batter on each corner of the baking sheet. These dots of batter will keep the parchment paper in place and stop it from curling up and moving around while piping.
- Pipe the batter into each circle guide. Hold the pastry bag horizontally to prevent the soft batter from flowing out of the piping bag. Gently apply pressure to allow the batter to fill each circle. Repeat until every circle is filled. Refill your pastry bag as needed.
- To release air bubbles, lift the baking sheet 6-8 inches off your countertop. Gently bang the baking sheet on the counter. Repeat 5-6 times more, or until the macarons have slightly spread and the surface of each cookie is smoothed out. Use a skewer to pop any bubbles that haven’t popped.
- Repeat steps 13, 14, 15 and 16 with the remaining batter on the second baking sheet.
- Once all 56 circles have been piped, let the macarons rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes or until the surface of the macarons are dry and no longer shiny. Preheat your oven to 300°F while the macarons are resting.
- Bake the macarons one baking sheet at a time in the middle of oven for 18-20 minutes until they have risen, are dry to touch and set. The cookies should have a “foot” or “ruffle” at base. If they are dry to touch, they should peel off the parchment paper easily. If they stick to parchment paper or still look underbaked, bake for another 1-2 minutes until they can be easily released from parchment paper.
- Transfer baking sheets to a cooling rack and allow the macarons to cool completely. Once cooled, the macarons can be carefully layered between sheets of parchment paper and stored in airtight containers lined with parchment paper.
- While your macarons are cooling, make ganache. Add finely chopped chocolate to medium heat-proof bowl and set over saucepan of barely simmering water on medium low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, and pour room temperature 35% cream over chocolate. Whisk until smooth and glossy. Season with salt and leave to cool.
- Pair each macaron half with another cookie that’s similar in size and place them on a baking sheet lined with clean parchment paper. Flip half of them over so they are bottom side-up.
- Your chocolate ganache should now be smooth and soft, yet thick enough to pipe. If it has cooled too much and thickened, place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and gently reheat over a medium-low heat. Alternatively, melt the chocolate ganache in a microwave safe bowl in 20-30 second increments, stirring every 10 seconds.
- Spoon ganache into piping bag with the same piping tip: 803, 804 or 805. Alternatively, use large plastic zipper lock bag with 1/4-inch tip cut off of corner, or use teaspoon to fill macarons. Pipe or spoon ganache onto cookies that are bottom side up. Filling should be slightly smaller than diameter of cookie. Approximately 1 1/2 tsp per cookie.
- Once piped, place the other half of the macaron on top of the ones topped with ganache to create mini sandwiches. Press down gently to push the ganache to edge. You should be able to see the filling when looking at the macarons. Macarons can be eaten straight after making them however, they are better after being left to chill overnight in an airtight container. This will allow the ganache to soften the macarons slightly. Once chilled, bring to room temperature before serving. Macarons can be stored in an airtight container in fridge for up to one week.
- Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Macarons ● Substitute Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% chocolate with Lindt EXCELLENCE Intense Mint 100g chocolate bar for a delicious, fresh flavour. You can also swap-in our Dark Caramel Sea Salt bar, Strawberry Dark Chocolate bar, or our Lindt EXCELLENCE Ecuador 75% cacao chocolate bar for an extra hit of indulgence! ● These chocolate macaron cookies can be baked and kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months to be filled later. Filled macarons can also be frozen and thawed overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. ● Always use clean dry tools and bowls to make meringues. If bowls or tools are wet or greasy in any way, they will prevent the egg whites from achieving stiff peaks which is crucial for making macarons. Browse the full Lindt recipe collection for more delicious desserts and indulgent treats – including another French classic with a chocolatey twist, Chocolate Strawberry Millefeuille!